1 Postdoctoral and 1 PhD positions in stellar magnetohydrodynamics at CEA, Saclay, France

Closing Date: 31.06.2015

Job opening for one post-doctoral and one PhD positions in MHD of stellar interiors, tidal interactions in stellar systems, and dynamical stellar evolution in Service d’Astrophysique at CEA Saclay (France) in support of the ERC project SPIRE

We invite applications for one 4-year post-doctoral position and one 3-year PhD position in stellar magnetohydrodynamics, dynamical stellar evolution and ab-initio modelling of tidal interactions in star-planet and multiple star systems in support of the European ERC-CoG project SPIRE (Stars: dynamical Processes driving tidal Interactions, Rotation and Evolution).

The objective of the project is to contribute to interpret new ground breaking high-resolution observations provided by asteroseismology on stellar interiors and their dynamics and planetary system discoveries and characterization (e.g. CoRoT and Kepler and in a near future CHEOPS, TESS, SPIRou, PLATO). To reach this ambitious objective, it is necessary to develop now new frontier theoretical and numerical long-term evolution models of rotating magnetic stars and of their systems. In this framework, the members of the SPIRE project will develop new state-of-the-art equations, prescriptions, and scaling laws that describe coherently dynamical mechanisms that transport angular momentum and drive tidal dissipation in stars using advanced ab-initio semi-analytical modelling and numerical simulations. They will be implemented in the new generation dynamical stellar evolution code STAREVOL and N-body code ESPER to provide realistic integrated and coupled models for the long-term evolution of stars and of their systems, which cannot be directly simulated in 3D yet.

The positions will be held in Service d’Astrophysique (SAp) at CEA-Saclay (France). SAp is a world class astrophysical and space science department with more than 180 faculty and staff members, studying stellar and planetary physics, astrophysical fluid and plasma dynamics, planets and stars formation, high energy astrophysics, galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, cosmology. The PI of the SPIRE project, Dr. S. Mathis, is permanent researcher in the Laboratory of Dynamics of Stars and their Environment. The team hosts recognized experts in stellar systems who carry research at the forefront of their theoretical and numerical modelling and characterization thanks to asteroseismology. CEA possesses large computer facilities and expertise that represent a strong asset for the development of (MHD) numerical simulations and advanced stellar modelling.

The growing SPIRE team focuses mostly on ab-initio semi-analytical and numerical modelling of the exchanges of angular momentum within stars and their planetary systems and of their impact on their evolution. The successful candidates will benefit from our existing and productive scientific national and international collaborations in stellar and planetary physics, in the study of Star-Planet Interactions, and in fluid dynamics.

The positions:

Position A 3-year PhD position in stellar magnetohydrodynamics: the successful candidate will collaborate with the PI, Dr. A.-S. Brun and members of the SPIRE project to establish new semi-analytical and numerical models of the excitation, propagation, and damping/resonances/instabilities of internal gravity waves in differentially rotating magnetic stars along their evolution. Obtained equations, prescriptions and scaling laws will be implemented in complete 2D secular transport equations for angular momentum, heat and chemicals in stars, which will be implemented in the dynamical stellar evolution code STAREVOL used by SPIRE members. Applicants should have a Master in astrophysics, geophysics, fluid dynamics or plasma physics.

Position B 4-year post-doc position in modelling tidal flows and their dissipation in stars: the successful candidate will collaborate with the PI and the members of the team to establish new ab-initio semi-analytical and numerical models of tidal torques/dissipation in rotating magnetic stars. She/he will study tidally excited magneto-gravito-inertial waves and their interactions with mean flows, turbulence and magnetic fields in stellar interiors. She/he will contribute to provide prescriptions and scaling laws that will be implemented in STAREVOL and ESPER. The required profile is a candidate with a strong background in theoretical and numerical astrophysical/geophysical fluid dynamics or/and stellar/planetary physics.

For the post-doc position, applicants should have a PhD in astrophysical/geophysical fluid dynamics, theoretical stellar or planetary physics, fluid mechanics or plasma physics. They should have a very good record of research and publications and real interest in theoretical and numerical astrophysics, fluid dynamics and applied mathematics.

These positions funded for at least 3 years (and up to 4 years) by the European Commission via the grant ERC-CoG SPIRE will be reniewed on a yearly basis depending on scientific progress and achievement. The salary will be commensurate to the competitive standard scale for PhD and post-doctoral researchers at CEA. A minimum of 5,000 Euros per year of travel money for each position will also be provided, in addition to the usual funding support of any French institution.

The preferred starting date is 1 September 2015, but can be discussed depending on the availability of selected candidates. Candidates are thus requested to indicate their preferred starting date in their application.

The application for the PhD position must include
– A Curriculum Vitae
– A letter detailing your motivation and qualifications for the position (maximum 1 page)
– Two letters of references. The letters are to be submitted separately to Dr. Stéphane Mathis.

The application for the post-doctoral position must include
– A Curriculum Vitae including publication list
– A statement of research experience, interests and future plans (maximum 3 pages)
– A letter detailing your motivation and qualifications for the position and your career objectives (maximum 1 page)
– Three letters of references. The letters are to be submitted separately to Dr. Stéphane Mathis.

Applications sent before 15 May 2015 for the post-doctoral positions and before 20 April 2015 for the PhD position will be given top priority but applications will be considered until positions are filled.

Laboratory Dynamics of Stars and their Environment CEA/DSM/IRFU/SAp & UMR AIM Paris-Saclay
CEA, Saclay, France
Please contact: stephane.mathis@cea.fr